Celebrant: Gathered in the name of Christ, we humbly come before the Father to present our needs.
That the Church may be strengthened by the Spirit in its ministry of spreading the Good News of Jesus throughout the world, we pray to the Lord...
That Church leaders may bear witness to God's gift and plan for marriage, and assist couples to live that vocation faithfully, we pray to the Lord...
That our Christian lawmakers will actively promote justice through the legal means entrusted to them, we pray to the Lord...
That all who despair because of a past abortion may open their hearts to repentance and the merciful forgiveness of the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted, we pray to the Lord...
That the sick throughout the world may have the strength and wisdom to unite their sufferings to those of Christ, and obtain his peace and healing, we pray to the Lord...
That the members of our parish community who have died may be welcomed into God’s kingdom, we pray to the Lord...
Almighty God, you are the source of our hope and strength.
As you answer our prayers, keep us always close to you, and bring us salvation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Child psychiatrist Philip Ney relates, "A woman reported telling her nine year old son about her abortion, which had taken place years before he was born. He said, 'I knew, Mom, that there was something wrong. I always have nightmares about knives and my mother killing me. I have an imaginary brother who wants to kill me. If you had not aborted the other, would you have aborted me?'" (Abortion Survivors, p.36).
This is a story repeated more times than most people realize, and representing a societal and pastoral problem whose proportions are greater today than at any previous time in history: the phenomenon of tens of millions of abortion survivors.
It is clear that abortion's primary victim is the child who is killed. It has also become increasingly clear that to kill the child is to harm the mother and father as well. What is not always so well known, however, is that abortion makes its impact felt on those who have had a sibling aborted, and that this impact is felt in surprising and astonishing ways, which also have wider implications for the whole of society.
Jb 7:1-4, 6-7
1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23
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Jesus loved the poor, the weak, the sick, and the demon-possessed. These individuals, and those who cared for them, knew that they could come to Jesus to find what they needed. What they needed, however, was often much more than what they thought they needed, because Jesus indicated by his words in today’s Gospel passage, and by his actions, that it was his purpose to preach the Word of God. The healing, in other words, flowed from something more fundamental. People need to hear the truth of God. By accepting it and being formed in it, they can establish right relationships with God and one another. They can conquer sin. They can have integral salvation, in body and soul.
As Jesus was the one to whom the people brought the ill and those possessed by demons, so the Church today is the place that people should be inclined to go first. The Church preaches integral salvation, as the “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church” so clearly explains. The feeding of the soul and the care given to temporal needs go hand in hand.
The Church, which teaches the truth that all life belongs to God, is reaching out each day to those who are tempted to take life by abortion. The thousands of pregnancy centers run by Christians across the nation bear witness to this fact. These centers provide medical help, financial assistance, legal advice, counseling, job and education opportunities, assistance to keep and raise the child or to make an adoption plan, and countless other needs. Some national hotlines, like the “Option Line” (1-800-712-HELP) and websites like www.pregnancycenters.org bring this concrete help to countless people daily. The members of each parish can extend the ministry of Jesus by referring people to this kind of help. It saves lives, spares people endless grief, and proclaims the Word of God about human life.